Q: What is Probate?
A: The root of the word Probate is "to prove". Probate means to examine proof of whether the decedent left a valid Will. Informal Probate admits the will as valid without a hearing. Formal Probate requires a hearing to confirm the validity of the will.
Q: How do I know if I need to go to Probate Court?
A: If a person dies owning any assets that need to be administered, you will need to contact Probate Court.
Q: What if the deceased did not have a Will?
A: When someone dies without a will, his or her estate is called "intestate". In this case, the law determines who inherits and who can be appointed the personal representative informally.
Q: How do I know if Anderson County is the correct Probate Court for me to call?
A: If the deceased was a permanent resident of Anderson County, was a non-resident holding property in Anderson County, or had a right to take legal action in the county, the estate must be processed through Anderson County Probate Court.
Q: Do I need an attorney to probate?
A: You may use the assistance of an attorney to probate informally or you may complete the paperwork yourself and meet with the Judge acting as your own attorney. For formal probate or appointment, the services of an attorney are required. This involves the filing of a Summons/Petition/Filing Fee and service of the pleadings on the interested parties. A hearing will then be set for presentation of testimony.
Q: How does a personal representative get appointed?
A: If you are acting as your own attorney, obtain initial paperwork from the Probate Court along with an explanation. The fee to start Probate is $50.00. If you have employed the services of an attorney, he or she will take care of this for you.